WTF Happened to the Royal Navy?

WTF Happened to the Royal Navy?

The UK defence budget in total has declined from over 4% of GDP in 1990 down to 2% today (the NATO minimum). In terms of manpower, the RN is down to just 30,000, compared to 39,000 in 2000.

The government has finally admitted that the continued cuts under the Strategic Defence Reviews (SDR) means Britain can't keep its commitments, and has begun quietly withdrawing from the world. 

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HMS Somerset blog

The Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset, a type 23 Frigate, has 'made waves' (forgive the pun) by becoming the first CO to write a blog.

The blog can be found at http://hms-somerset-co.blogspot.com

Reading this blog brought back a lot of memories. I particularly like this post which highlights one of the many tricks that are played on new recruits. I'm trying to recall but I don't think I was gullible enough to fall for any of them. It didn't stop them trying though. Like the first week on my first ship when I was presented with an electricity bill for my bunk light. And my first trip to Gibralter when there was a pipe (tannoy announcements) that foreign money changing was now open. It was amazing to see the line forming outside the onboard post office for changing Pounds to Gibraltar Giberoons!

Some of the pipes were pretty funny too.. like 'OM Thalidimide to the Small Arms Store'. You probably couldn't get away with that these days. I hear the Navy is becoming as PC as civvy street. I blame the Labour government...

The truth emerges

I've just watched the news conference given by the returned sailors and I'm riled to say the least. Not from what the sailors said but from the reaction of some idiots on forums and some newspaper columnists in the papers today. I think people have been watching too many Hollywood war movies. I'd like to see how they'd fare if they were captured, kept in solitary confinement and told they might spend 7 years in an Iranian prison.

It's clear now that their appearances on TV in Iran was heavily manipulated and edited. In my view, and the view of of people like John Nicol who have actually been captured and tortured, they did exactly what they should have done. Even the SAS will tell you that the Name, Rank, Number line that you're supposed to take is useless when you're in the hands of people who don't consider themselves bound by the Geneva Convention. They didn't give out any intelligence or operational information, and they're supposed apologies were edited and taken out of context by the Iranian propaganda machine. No they weren't tortured, but those who have been through torture say that the psychological pressure can be just as bad as physical torture.

I hope those sad little columnists in the papers, who have never served a single day in the armed forces, are thoroughly ashamed of themselves.